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Google's Nexus line will get monthly security updates

As part of the new initiative Google promises security patches for its smartphones and tablets for up to three years.

Google plans to keep its Nexus 4, and other devices secure with timely updates. Josh Miller/CNET

Google announced plans to roll out monthly security patches for its Nexus smartphones and tablets on Wednesday, including a patch for the Stagefright exploit that could affect as many as 95 percent of Android devices.

Starting today, select devices will receive software updates designed to shield them from vulnerabilities and issues, including the Nexus 4 , Nexus 5 , Nexus 6, Nexus 7 , Nexus 9 , Nexus 10 and Nexus Player .

Due to its open-source nature, the Android platform has received its fair share of malware and attacks over the years. And, because of the number of manufacturers and carriers involved, there has not been a consistent and efficient way of safeguarding against new threats. Today's announcement is an attempt to speed up the process.

Google will simultaneously release its update and place that code in the Android Open Source Project, in which Google offers all code for its Android software free to anyone who wants it. This means that hardware makers and carrier partners will also be able to send timely updates or fixes to non-Nexus phones.

Discovered by security firm Zimperium, the Stagefright exploit reportedly sends a malicious text message to phones that could let thieves mine personal data.

Google says it will supply the security fixes to its Nexus devices for a period of three years, or 18 months from the date from which they are discontinued -- whichever is longer.

A number of smartphone makers have also begun pushing out security updates for the Stagefright vulnerability. AndroidCentral is reporting that Alcatel is prepping a fix for its OneTouch Idol 3 which should be ready by August 10.

Samsung, for its part, has already started on patches for select devices on AT&T and Sprint. Looking ahead, Samsung will follow Google's lead in issuing monthly software updates for its Galaxy devices. Although it stopped short of naming exact models, we might look for the last few generations of Galaxy S and Galaxy Note models to be high priority.